Houston Community College officer April Pikes, 24, was working her second job as a security guard in Wal-Mart when she was stabbed 14 times on April 28 (video below).
Police say Jeremiah Matthews, 23, approached Pikes while she was sitting down near the store’s registers and repeatedly stabbed her with a hunting knife without saying a word.
Customers rushed to help and wrestled with him until they were able to use Pike’s handcuffs to restrain him.
"I saw him on her just stabbing her,” Abe Baker, one of the people who intervened, told Click2Houston. "I wasn't really thinking," he said.
"His arm was just up getting ready to stab her and I just grabbed his arm and took him down, and that's when everybody else came over and we all just took him down.”
Baker said he interacted with Matthews before the attack. "He was in an upbeat mood, whistling and he had a fast pace, walking fast," Baker said.
Pikes underwent six hours of surgery and was last listed in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital. She’s expected to survive, but she might lose her right arm.
Matthews apparently told investigators he stabbed Pikes because “cops are oppressive.” Community activist Deric Muhammad said on behalf of Matthews’ family, "He does have a diagnostic history of mental illness in the past. To what degree that played into what happened, we don't know.”
Matthews has been charged with attempted capital murder.
Kese Smith of the Houston Police Department praised the bystanders who helped. "Those are the heroes here, if you want to talk about that. Because they had a choice. They could have run, but they chose to intervene. And there's an HTC officer who is fighting for her life right now at Ben Taub because of their timely intervention.”
Image: Houston Police Department Via Click2Houston